Home News Thursday Afternoon News, February 24th

Thursday Afternoon News, February 24th


Le Mars Community School District To See Three Music Instructors To Retire At Conclusion Of School Year

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community School will say good-bye to 186 years of educational experience at the conclusion of the current school year as six faculty and staff members have indicated they intend to retire. The six retirees submitted their request for resignations during the last Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting.  The school board approved those requests and commented as to the great impact each of the six faculty and staff members contributed to the Le Mars Community School District.   Le Mars Community will see a void in its music department and will need to fill a few positions within the music department as Randy and Nancy Ewing have both indicated their interests in leaving the school district.  Both of the Ewings have taught at Le Mars Community for 37 years each.  Randy has served as the high school vocal music teacher, and was named the “Teacher of the Year” last year.  His wife, Nancy, has been the Middle School vocal music instructor.  The 5th and 6th grades instrumental music teacher has also announced his intentions of retiring at the conclusion of the school year.  Randy Benton has been the instrumental music teacher for the secondary level for a total of 30 years.  Angela Catton is the current president of the Le Mars Community Board of Education and a long-time supporter of the Le Mars Community Music Boosters Club.  Catton says the school board reluctantly approved the resignation requests, because they understand the strong reputation that has been built by the retiring instructors.  Catton says not just the music teachers who are leaving, but all the teachers and staff members who are retiring are “icons within the school district.”  Catton says the Ewings have built a premier music department at Le Mars Community.

Catton says under the supervision of the Ewings in the music department, Le Mars Community built a strong reputation for its music department consisting of several superior ratings for the entire choir, ensembles, duets, and soloists when they performed at regional music contests.


Randy Ewing     Nancy Ewing       Randy Benton

The school board president says it is sad to see such good instructors wanting to retire, but she says it is a fact the school district has to acknowledge.

Catton says the three music retirees have set the standards high for their successors, but she says, because of the strong reputation of the school district’s music department, she believes the recruitment of new music teachers will see several strong applicants who are eager to continue the established music reputation and tradition.

The other faculty and staff members that have announced their retirement from the Le Mars Community School District include: Amy Anderson, 32 year as the Middle School art teacher.  Kevin Westhoff is giving up his position as the elementary physical education instructor.  Westhoff has been with the school district a total of 27 years, and Julie Theisen after being with the school district for 23 years is retiring from her position as the alternative high school teacher and TLC committee.




42 Dogs Rescued from “Deplorable Conditions” in SE Iowa Home

(Argyle, IA) — Officials at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa say 42 dogs and puppies have been removed from an unlicensed breeder in southeast Iowa. A news release from the league states the dogs range in size from Great Danes to Corgis, and they were crammed into filthy cages stacked on top of each other inside a home near Argyle in Lee County. Jo Stafford, A-R-L-I’s director of animal services, says the smell of urine was overpowering and ammonia levels were high enough to burn your eyes. She also says the dogs are thin, and have rotten teeth and fleas infestations. Lee County authorities are determining whether to file charges.




Two Freshmen at Iowa State Arrested for Making “Terroristic Threats”

(Ames, IA) — Two Iowa State University freshmen face charges in connection with social media posts warning people to avoid campus buildings. Eighteen-year-old Abdullateef Malallah, and 19-year-old Ty Jerman, both of Ames, were later arrested and have since been charged with making terroristic threats in the case. University officials say there is no known connection between the two students and the posts were made separately. On Monday evening, I-S-U police received a report about an anonymous Yik Yak post warning people not to go to Carver Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, then a second anonymous post a few hours later warned people to avoid Parks Library. University officials say police determined it was not necessary to close the university and worked with building administrators to implement safety measures as a precaution.




Majority of Students at State Universities Comfortable with Free Speech Rights

(Des Moines, IA) — A majority of students at Iowa’s three state-run universities believe their free speech rights are not being violated. That’s the result of a survey reviewed Wednesday by the State Board of Regents. Chief Academic Officer, Rachel Boon, says 74 percent of students surveyed felt comfortable expressing their opinions on campus. The survey was completed by just ten percent of the students — with the numbers split fairly evenly between the University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa and Iowa State University. More than seven thousand students responded to the survey, which Boon suggests is a big enough number to get an accurate picture.




Hot Weather Can Trigger Violent Behavior, Researcher Says

(Ames, IA) — A new book from researchers at Iowa State University asserts that hotter weather brought on by climate change can make people more aggressive. Lead author Andreas Miles-Novelo (on-DRAY-us MILES no-VELL-oh), an I-S-U psychology graduate student, says decades of studies demonstrate how hotter temperatures alter the way people around the globe think and interact with each other. In the book “Climate Change and Human Behavior,” the authors say hotter weather and more frequent and severe weather events can influence individuals and groups, escalating political unrest, civil war, and other forms of violence. The research finds people who are uncomfortably hot perceive others as behaving aggressively, which raises the odds of a hostile confrontation.




Senator Joni Ernst Comments On Russian Invasion Into Ukraine